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Old 02-22-2019, 07:21 PM
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lostdutchman lostdutchman is offline
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Location: tempe
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Originally Posted by jimc View Post
I appreciate the advice to use soft hackles in the slower water above the bridge.
To my surprise, I had a trout in the net after my 3rd cast. This seems to be the exception because I have not had any sustained success since.
I am still perfecting my technique - retrieval, drift, choice of sinking line, etc.
However, I am still trying to figure out which fly to tie below the soft hackle to make it sink. I have been using smaller beaded nymphs, but they don't sink quickly enough and they start to buoy on retrieval.
So far, I have tried wollybuggers and SSL. The SSL seems to be the perfect weight, but I am only getting takes on a faster retrieval and only on the SSL.
So basically, I am streaming an SSL with a soft hackle doing nothing.
Any advice would be appreciated.
put the soft hackle behind the SSL..

usually a good rule of thumb when running 2 flies.. the smaller fly should be the 2nd.. theres always exceptions of course. ( euro nymphing)

swinging soft hackles will work best in the riffles and tailouts ( if and when the water is actually moving at the salt hah.

play with size.. somedays they wanted TINY ones ( 18-20) .. somedays they
would eat bigger ones ( 12-14) i would usually use a sink tip, something mid sink rate like around 3-4 inches per second. ( heavier for getting down to the suckers if you wanna play that game) but you don't need to.. the sink tip and shorter leader ( don't need a lonnnng leader with sink tips. ( 4 feet is plenty especially when swinging for trout) ) ensure less of a bow, and a more controlled swing meaning you know exactly when you're getting a grab. if you are fishing with the leech.. strip/ fish your way back to you.

soft hackles will work best when the bugs are moving. aka during a hatch.. most hatches on the salt this time of year are dawn and dusk, unless its cloudy, then you can have a hatch all day.

work backwards than you would fishing dries or bobber fishing.. start at the tops of runs and work you way down. casting 45 degrees downstream. step every couple casts, or if you're consistently picking up fish, or know the bucket, spend more time there.. but cover some water until you find willing fish....swinging is a good way to search for fish.

just like anything else, it won't work EVERY TIME, but its a really successful tool to have in the arsenal, especially out there as noone else does it, and there are tons of nymphs in the water.

goodluck, glad to hear its worked for you thus far!
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:10 PM
aztightlines aztightlines is offline
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Location: tucson, az
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brown hackle peacock fly

Day-in-day-out I like the beadhead brown hackle peacock fly...images.jpg

Though I fish mostly stillwaters down south in Az, I find a size 12/14 copper or black bead 1/8" with small copper or black wire over the peacock body to be most effective, mostly as a dropper behind a big nymph, bugger, or SSL.

A brown hen hackle, even an indian neck feather can be good for the motion; tails are optional. Gold or silver beads may work well at times, but I find the copper the best all around.

My friend Gilbert has a good pheasant tail emerger pattern in the smaller sizes, 14-18, with no bead and a hen back hackle in front of the pheasant tail body
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:29 AM
jimc jimc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 37
That's a lot to digest.
I will be working on it this weekend.
Thank you.
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Old 03-03-2019, 09:25 PM
wolleybug wolleybug is offline
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Location: Gilbert AZ
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Went down to the salt this morning. Everything below phon D is unfishable with the flows 7 feet above normal and trees and bushes floating down stream. Above phon D is low flow barren wastelands
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:50 PM
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SAT SAT is offline
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The Lower Salt is probably one of the most frustrating rivers ever...
Sometimes itís great and sometimes itís the worst ever. Itís still a beautiful river though
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:03 AM
jimc jimc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 37
Salt River

Dry flies worked well yesterday. Just below the bridge. In the only moving water of that stretch.
Olive body, #16 hook, stiff tan hackles, tan tail. Took 10 in 45 minutes.
Had to throw it directly in front of large moving packs of stocked fish to get looks.
Had only one long distance missile attack.
Any prolonged float made it a curiosity that was resistible.

I think Im done until the flows pick up.
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Old 05-20-2019, 10:19 PM
jimc jimc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 37
Flows are up?

Salt is running at 300+ cfs.
The fish have moved into the riffles and nervous water.
Having great luck just below the bridge with black SSL and pheasant tail nymphs below a fly bobber. I've brought in a few that were 12 inches....
Most of them are smaller stockers, but the action is pretty consistent.

Went down to Phon D and its still pretty murky.
There has been some re-routing of the flow downstream since the Verde was running so high this spring. No luck there yet. i suspect it will be much better than before when the water clears because the new routes have added some accessible rifles and pools.

On a side note....Does anyone know why the tubers aren't allowed up by water users? And is there a fishing restriction up there?
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Old 05-28-2019, 10:17 AM
jimc jimc is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 37
Happy trout

Flows are up around 900 cfs...
The Memorial day crowds have cleared...
And the trout were happy this morning...
Netted 2 nice ones, 12+ inches, just below the bridge...
Pheasant tail, beaded nymphs were the delicacy of choice...
Both were a struggle to land because of the current and their big "shoulders"
Looking forward to this summer....
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Old 06-02-2019, 08:57 PM
wolleybug wolleybug is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Gilbert AZ
Posts: 464
Landed a 13 inch on memorial day way down by granite reef, the water was somewhat clear. Went back today and it was like chocolate milk.
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